Another day, another way Elon Musk will probably post some inane responses to Twitter. This time, Tesla employees are accused of carelessly treating sensitive images recorded by Tesla cars, laughing at the private videos of the owners.
The report comes from Reuters and contains multiple allegations from ex-employees of Tesla, who claim the company had access to those videos starting with 2019.
Among the reveals is an incident where Tesla employees shared between themselves a video of a child being hit by a car. In another, a man was approaching a Tesla vehicle completely naked. Just like in many other fields, like doctors sharing pictures on WhatsApp, Tesla employees took what were private recordings and shared them among themselves, even making memes out of them.
Worse off, one ex-employee claimed that some Tesla recordings appeared to have been made when cars were parked and turned off. This is a feature that has been turned off by Tesla in recent times, though in the past owners of Tesla cars could consent to this type of data collection.
From the report:
“Other images were more mundane, such as pictures of dogs and funny road signs that employees made into memes by embellishing them with amusing captions or commentary, before posting them in private group chats. While some postings were only shared between two employees, others could be seen by scores of them, according to several ex-employees.
Tesla states in its online “Customer Privacy Notice” that its “camera recordings remain anonymous and are not linked to you or your vehicle.” But seven former employees told Reuters the computer program they used at work could show the location of recordings – which potentially could reveal where a Tesla owner lived.”
Right now, Tesla issued no response. Outlets like TheVerge point out that Tesla’s Sentry Mode was sued in Germany for violating data protection law, and banned in some China regions over fears of surveillance.